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Get yourself started with Friendica

Curious about Friendica, but unsure whether we have what you want? Click here for a trial look inside.

Or have you already decided to run your own site? Developers and web experts: jump here. The rest of you, read on...

We have options for many skill levels and requirements. People who have already installed server applications in the past (but aren't hardened admins) should read these concise instructions. Beginners should start with a basic tutorial that assumes little prior knowledge. We also have a packaged way of installing and running a fully connected Friendica site at home. A fair warning: social networking software is complex. It may take some work to get your site going.

Here's why we think you should host your own if you can. However, if you're absolutely sure that running your own site isn't an option for you, go here to find our public server list.

Still not sure? Read your way through the rest of this page to find out which option suits you best.

Experience Friendica

If you want to see Friendica in action, test it or install it, you have several choices:

  • We have a list of test sites for trial accounts. These have been set up in various ways - some may restrict functionality. To avoid logging on at all, you can also simply view some of our forums. You won't be able to participate in these and you won't see the full power of a personal, cross-platform Friendica stream. But you will get a first impression.
  • Install your own fully functional Friendica site on a shared host: We've got a how-to for people with no prior experience of server management. Your installation experience may be even more painless than WordPress installation!
  • There is also a more advanced set of instructions for people who have done this type of thing before. This advanced guide works for shared hosts and virtual private servers (VPS). You can find further advanced installation options on our resources page - e.g. to install with Nginx or for a particular provider. That page also has links to instructions in other languages. Also note that work on a Debian package is underway and nearing completion.
  • Experience Friendica with a fully-connectible home server. We have a pre-made VirtualBox image for this purpose, making 'home Friendica' a viable option for more people than just 'geeks'. You can just run it from your Windows, Linux or Mac desktop. Find it here.
  • Join a public server. (We usually urge people to have their own sites - shared with family members or friends. But if you feel unable or unwilling to run your own, we have a list of free public servers maintained by volunteers. Just be aware that control of your own data is fullest when you also control your own site.)

If you are experiencing any difficult setting up your own site, open a temporary (free) support account here: Friendica Support Line.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that Friendica is developed and supported by volunteers in their free time. We can't guarantee that we'll get your site working; nor can we guarantee that Friendica will be useful for what you want, or even for anything.


You may use git to create a mirror of the addons repository on your local site with the following:

cd $mywebsite_directory; git clone addon

This will copy all plugins to the directory 'addon' - which is where Friendica will look for them.

Alternatively you can select and download individual plugins and unpack them into your local 'addon' directory.

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